May finally need to take the head off - head gasket

JellyBeanDriver
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Joined: May 6th, 2009, 4:44 am

January 19th, 2014, 9:31 pm #1

Think I have an intermittent head gasket leak only under long WOT events. First noticed it about 6 months ago climbing a pretty bad grade. The next morning the coolant reservoir was nearly overflowing and the radiator was low. Been checking it now and again and with our mild weather the reservoir has been normal and the radiator full.

Did some spirited driving yesterday AND ran the AC and this morning when cold the radiator level was low - core tubes exposed, and the reservoir full. Put the fluid back into the radiator and just headed out on a run, up a long grade. Got home and the reservoir tank was full. Removed cap when hot and again the tubes on the radiator is exposed.

Will rent a pressure tester but thinking I have a head gasket that needs to be replaced.
Last edited by JellyBeanDriver on January 19th, 2014, 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
519,500 miles, original bottom end - donated to a charity 12-2017
- head replaced with rebuilt at 456,000 miles while I was in there replacing a failed head gasket
2003 Jetta TDI - 345,000 miles 50MPG, much more power.
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truckjohn
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Joined: September 16th, 2013, 7:25 pm

January 19th, 2014, 9:40 pm #2

Could be a coolant tube O-ring or some similar suction side leak too...
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Stiffchezze
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Joined: December 31st, 2010, 2:02 am

January 19th, 2014, 11:56 pm #3

:O NOOOOOOO! :O
Ok, IF your going to do it, LOTS AND LOTS of Pics! :popcorn
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JellyBeanDriver
Elite Member
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 4:44 am

January 20th, 2014, 3:45 am #4

truckjohn wrote:Could be a coolant tube O-ring or some similar suction side leak too...
Late this afternoon I did the same trip, up the same grade, driving the car the same way as earlier today. Got to my destination, popped the hood and the coolant level in the reservoir was normal.

I've never replaced the o-ring on the water pump tube - certainly worth a try. And if this is as bad as it gets, I may just live with it.

Oh yeah, there is a combustion gases tester I can rent from Autozone - I'll give that a try too.

Glenn, here's comes a PM for some o-rings!



519,500 miles, original bottom end - donated to a charity 12-2017
- head replaced with rebuilt at 456,000 miles while I was in there replacing a failed head gasket
2003 Jetta TDI - 345,000 miles 50MPG, much more power.
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Deleted User
Deleted User

January 20th, 2014, 5:46 am #5

JellyBeanDriver wrote:
truckjohn wrote:Could be a coolant tube O-ring or some similar suction side leak too...
Late this afternoon I did the same trip, up the same grade, driving the car the same way as earlier today. Got to my destination, popped the hood and the coolant level in the reservoir was normal.

I've never replaced the o-ring on the water pump tube - certainly worth a try. And if this is as bad as it gets, I may just live with it.

Oh yeah, there is a combustion gases tester I can rent from Autozone - I'll give that a try too.

Glenn, here's comes a PM for some o-rings!


I'll get some packed and in the mail on Tuesday.

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JellyBeanDriver
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Joined: May 6th, 2009, 4:44 am

January 20th, 2014, 6:28 am #6

Geo Glenn wrote:I'll get some packed and in the mail on Tuesday.
PM sent
519,500 miles, original bottom end - donated to a charity 12-2017
- head replaced with rebuilt at 456,000 miles while I was in there replacing a failed head gasket
2003 Jetta TDI - 345,000 miles 50MPG, much more power.
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Deleted User
Deleted User

January 20th, 2014, 6:52 am #7

JellyBeanDriver wrote:
Geo Glenn wrote:I'll get some packed and in the mail on Tuesday.
PM sent
Try again. PM failure.

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JellyBeanDriver
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Joined: May 6th, 2009, 4:44 am

January 20th, 2014, 3:29 pm #8

Well it's looking more like a head gasket. Remember I said I took the same trip and this time the reservoir looked good?
This morning before I went to work I checked the radiator and it was very low. I refilled it using what was in the reservoir (love the fact I can blow into the overflow tube on the reservoir and push fluid from it into the radiator.)

After doing this the reservoir was nearly empty. So over the weekend, going up Conejo grade 2X used up half a reservoir tank of coolant. No leaks that I can see.

Tonight I'll see how much it uses after 1 day of commuting.

Debating what to do. Don't want much downtime so I'm tempted to ONLY do the headgasket and on the side find a rebuildable motor and prep it for an eventual need.

Glenn, I'll send you another PM. Still going to want to do the o-rings anyways.
Last edited by JellyBeanDriver on January 20th, 2014, 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
519,500 miles, original bottom end - donated to a charity 12-2017
- head replaced with rebuilt at 456,000 miles while I was in there replacing a failed head gasket
2003 Jetta TDI - 345,000 miles 50MPG, much more power.
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JellyBeanDriver
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Joined: May 6th, 2009, 4:44 am

January 20th, 2014, 7:17 pm #9

Geo Glenn wrote:Try again. PM failure.
Let me know if you got it this time.
519,500 miles, original bottom end - donated to a charity 12-2017
- head replaced with rebuilt at 456,000 miles while I was in there replacing a failed head gasket
2003 Jetta TDI - 345,000 miles 50MPG, much more power.
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Deleted User
Deleted User

January 20th, 2014, 8:16 pm #10

Got it.
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